Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Album Review: Legend of the Seagullmen - Legend of the Seagullmen

Legend of the Seagullmen
**and1/2 out of *****

The newest pairing to constitute a super group comes in the form of Tool's Danny Carey and Mastodon's Brent Hinds Legend of the Seagullmen. The group churns out eight tracks of dark metallic psych rock, destined to spin off a into a low budget horror film, or at least a graphic novel.

The full band working with Carey on Drums and Hinds on guitar are director Jimmy Hayward (Jonah Hex) on guitar, David 'The Doctor' Dreyer on vocals, Zappa Meets Zappa's Peter Griffin on bass, and Chris DiGiovanni on synth. Opening with their statement song the lyrics describe the titular characters who "own the light". They don't waste anytime letting you forget him/them as the second track "The Fogger" ends with a redux of the first track. The band must think their fans have short memories, or don't listen to an album in order.

Things pick up (both in tempo and quality) with "Shipswreck" a chugging head banger with soaring solos and deep drums, the production on this release is noteworthy as their are lots of instruments (especially the synths and guitars) that are tracked very softly/restrained and multiple listens (perhaps in altered mental states on good headphones) reveal delicate touches that elevate almost every song from mediocrity. The excellent album art as well gives an eerie sense of mystery around the helmet/mask/disfigured face of the Seagullmen. 

The term cinematic is used in the press releases and having a Hollywood director on-board only furthers that feeling, but their is no denying the film quality of the Legend of the Seagullmen. The drama gets amped to Broadway levels for "Curse of The Red Tide", the albums centerpiece which contains a rising intro, drum showcase, strings, piano fills and vocals of a B-movie villain. All of the theatrical pomp is also present on the disk closing "Ballad of the Deep Sea Diver" with it's lead in, soaring fret work and full orchestra closing. 

The metal is revved up for the bands historical theme song that owes as much to Tenacious D as it does to Black Sabbath with a self mocking reference in it's chorus "That's right, this is entertainment/We don't know why, we can't explain it". Two odes to leviathans breach the surface with the pumping "The Orca" and the more prog rock/doom drenched "Rise Of The Giant" which has a giant squad with a "huge fucking eye" murdering Californians on Hollywood Beach.  

The person that leaps to mind instantly while experiencing this album was Les Claypool  as the group has a cartoonish sense of self and then tries to dip into seriousness; friendly with both Tool and Mastodon it is amazing Claypool isn't participating in this project directly in his wheelhouse. While Legend of the Seagullmen doesn't live up to "super group" levels, their target audience (think Metalocalypse fans looking for more dramatics and less speed) will enjoy as the band has an interesting sense of style and cinematic flair. 
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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